Immediate Release FOC: Group Calls for Investigation of Trapping Incident

Group Calls for Investigation of Trapping Incident

April 3, 2012

Moscow, ID – Yesterday, Friends of the Clearwater urged the Idaho Department of Fish & Game to conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the trapping of a grey wolf in north-central Idaho by Josh Bransford. Last week the group Montana Footloose received a death threat for sharing pictures on their web site of a trapped and tortured grey wolf that was reportedly captured by Mr. Bransford. The picture showed a large pool of blood surrounding the grey wolf, which was apparently caused by people shooting at the wolf while it was still in the trap. The incident has sparked outrage across the country, and once again put the spotlight on a grey wolf hunting and trapping program in the northern Rockies that has killed over five hundred wolves since federal delisting in 2011.

Friends of the Clearwater is concerned that a number of laws could have been broken during the incident, and would like the matter to receive further attention.

“We have wildlife laws in this state that prohibit individuals from interfering with or harassing animals that have been caught in another person’s trap. Idaho Code 36-1510: Interference with hunting, fishing, trapping, or wildlife control clearly states this,” said Brett Haverstick, Education & Outreach Director. “Regardless of what was in the trap, if an investigation finds that laws were broken, we fully expect those individuals deemed responsible to be prosecuted.”

The group is greatly concerned about public safety too, and claims that more than one law could have been broken during the trapping incident.

“We would like the Idaho Fish & Game Department to look into whether or not the individuals were shooting across a public highway or from its shoulder. Idaho Code 36-1508: Shooting from a public highway specifically prohibits such action,” said Gary Macfarlane, Ecosystem Defense Director. “This is about public safety, as much as it is about ensuring that our wildlife laws are being followed.”

Furthermore, according to public records obtained from the web, Mr. Bransford has been found guilty of past wildlife law violations.

“This entire incident needs to be investigated as the circumstances surrounding it are incredibly disturbing,” said Brett Haverstick. “We expect the agency to do the right thing.”

Photo: Courtesy Jason Hahn 2007
Posted in: Wolf Wars, Idaho Wolves, Animal Cruelty

Tags: Friends of the Clearwater, Forest Service, tortured wolf, public outrage, call for IDFG investigation

Press Release CBD: Trapped Idaho Wolf Tortured Before Killing…

Photo from posting

For Immediate Release, April 3, 2012

Trapped Idaho Wolf Tortured Before Killing 

Attorney General, Forest Service Asked to Investigate Violations of State Cruelty Law and 

Forest Service Ethics

BOISE, Idaho— The Center for Biological Diversity sent letters to both the Forest Service and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, today requesting investigations into the actions of a Forest Service employee, Josh Bransford, who posted photos of a wolf he had trapped in northern Idaho that had been maliciously and non-fatally shot by people who spotted the animal from a nearby road.

“A year ago, that wolf was protected as a member of an endangered species, but last month he was trapped, tortured and killed thanks to an underhanded congressional rider that’s also responsible for the deaths of hundreds of other wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains,” said the Center’s Michael Robinson. “A lack of respect for the balance of nature is leading to a war on wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains .”

The posting, on, shows the Forest Service employee smiling in front of a still-living wolf surrounded by snow that is bloody from the animal’s gunshot wounds. Idaho state law makes it a crime for a person who “causes or procures any animal to be cruelly treated, or who, having the charge or custody of any animal either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to cruelty.” It also requires that “destruction of animals for population control” (the supposed reason for wolf trapping) be carried out humanely. Making it possible for potshots to be taken at a captive animal — and photographing the results — before ending the wolf’s suffering appears to violate this law, as well as common decency.

“These photos make plain that the trapping and hunting of wolves being allowed by the state of Idaho are less ‘wildlife-management techniques’ than scapegoating of wolves,” said Robinson. “This egregious torture of a wolf needs to be investigated by Idaho ’s attorney general and the Forest Service, and Josh Bransford should be fined and dismissed from his position.”

Removal of Endangered Species Act protection for the wolf was premised on the fact that state game agencies could be counted on to manage wolves. Idaho has since abandoned the targets of its state plan and instead said it will seek to reduce the population from roughly 1,000 wolves to as low as 150 wolves, effectively creating an open season on the species. So far, 375 wolves have been reported killed in Idaho and 166 in Montana . Idaho ’s wolf hunt remains open in portions of the state.

“The disturbing photos of this animal’s needlessly painful death are a symbol of the loss of hundreds of wolves in Idaho and Montana and the unraveling of their ecosystems as a consequence,” said Robinson. “Last year’s wolf-delisting rider was premised on trusting the states to treat wolves like other wildlife. But that trust was clearly misplaced by Congress.

Without the safety net of the Endangered Species Act, Idaho ’s very clearly persecuting wolves, not ‘managing’ them. It’s brutal and it has to stop.”

Michael J. Robinson
Center for Biological Diversity


Howling for Justice Statement

 Yes, it has to stop. Our ultimate goal is to see wolves relisted. It’s obvious the states are not capable of caring for wolves. Idaho is conducting a cruel vendetta against them, worse than the first  Western extermination. We have learned nothing, the same backward, base, hateful attitudes are driving this wolf killing train.

Congress should hang their heads in shame for legislating away wolves’ ESA protections and opening them up to unspeakable torture and brutality!!


Photo: Courtesy Center for Biological Diversity

Posted in: Wolf Wars, Animal Cruelty, Idaho Wolves

Tags: Animal cruelty, tortured wolf, US Forest Service

Finally Hope For Idaho’s Wolves

There is good news to report!!  Western Watersheds Project and the The Wolf Recovery Foundation are suing to prevent helicopters from landing in the Frank Church/River of No Return Wilderness.  

The forest service recently gave Idaho Fish & Game the green light to land helicopters up to twenty times this winter in the Frank Church Wilderness, to dart as many as twelve wolves for collaring.  The Frank Church is a designated wilderness and this violates the Wilderness Act of 1974 which states:

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

The lawsuit also targets Wildlife Services for their slaughter of wolves in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, for the livestock industry. They want SNRA grazing leases pulled.

Each year cattle are trucked in to graze the SNRA.  This is a national recreation area, cattle are the trespassers here, not wolves.  But time and again wolves are subjugated to livestock. The slaughter of the Basin Butte Pack during Thanksgiving week was an example of the arrogance Wildlife Services has shown, when they gunned down seven wolves from helicopters in broad daylight, like some surreal wild west show.

Finally this out of control agency is being challenged.  Their practice of killing entire packs of wolves is a travesty. The same thing is happening right now in Montana, where four wolf packs have lethal orders on their heads.  WS is intent on completely removing The Elevation Pack, The Miners Lake Pack, The Battlefield Pack and the Mitchell Mountain Pack. This lawsuit couldn’t have come at a better time.  Wolves are dying in record numbers.

I hope this will be a new beginning for wolves, not just on the Sawtooth but in the Northern Rockies. Over five hundred wolves died in 2009 and now their howls will be heard in court.

Thank you Western Watersheds Project and The Wolf Recovery Foundation.  This has given me new hope we can finally have justice for Idaho’s wolves and in turn for all the Northern Rockies wolves.  As one of my readers stated: Please stop killing wolves!  Just stop!

To read the full lawsuit click here


WWP & Wolf Recovery Foundation Litigates Big to Protect Wolves in Central Idaho

January 6, 2010 — Brian Ertz 


Groups sue to end helicopter landings in Idaho wilderness

By the Associated Press | Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 1:50 pm

Posted in: wolf recovery, Wildlife Services War on Wildlife, biodiversity, gray wolf/canis lupus

Tags: SNRA, WWP lawsuit, Frank Church Wilderness, Forest Fervice, aerial gunning of wolves, intrusive collaring of wolves, wolves or livestock

%d bloggers like this: